Pubdate: Tue, 08 Aug 2000
Date: 08/08/2000
Source: Halifax Daily News (CN NS)
Author: Bob O'Neill

To the editor:

George Publicover's letter in the Aug. 2 issue of your paper cannot
remain unchallenged. The last argument against the legalization of
marijuana should be the Amsterdam (and all of Holland's) experience
with relaxed control of the substance.

To suggest that the cleanliness of the city is related to pot use is
silly in the extreme.  I have visited Amsterdam many times, and it
never struck me as a dirty city.

It has a very high concentration of people compared with Halifax, and
I think they are as responsible with their environment as we are,
especially where the treatment of sewage is concerned.

As for many strung-out people wandering the streets at night; again, I
must disagree.

My experiences are just the opposite.

I always found the streets to be quiet and safe at

Certainly much safer than downtown Halifax when the drunks are out in

The truth?

Most pot is acquired and consumed in the many "coffee shops" that
exist unobtrusively throughout the city. The product is high quality
and relatively inexpensive. Non-smokers take no notice of the shops
because they aren't interested. The Amsterdam experience showed me
that drug use is a personal choice.

Certain personalities are prone to addiction problems, whatever the

Availability is not the determining factor in the level of

But it has a lot to do with the crime that is clearly associated with
illicit trafficking.

As long as the hypocrisy and fallacies surrounding marijuana exist in
our society, we will continue to live with elevated criminal activity,
inappropriate use of police and justice system resources, and worst of
all, general disrespect for our laws. I suggest the police discontinue
the enforcement of marijuana laws until the politicians legislate them
out of existence.

Bob O'Neill,